5 Indicators Your Maintenance Processes Need Improvement

BusinessManagement

  • Author Sterling Brenner
  • Published August 20, 2020
  • Word count 659

How do you know when your maintenance processes could stand to be improved? This is something that all maintenance managers and owners need to know the answer to. The good news is, there are a number of telltale signs that can indicate that your existing processes need to be corrected. The following article seeks to highlight 5 indicators that your maintenance processes are in need of improvement.

  1. Downtimes are commonplace

If a maintenance plan is near-perfect, then downtimes and disruptions will be kept to an absolute minimum. This ensures that your production facility is able to operate with maximum efficiency. Frequent downtimes and disruptions are a strong indicator that something is wrong with your existing maintenance processes. Downtimes due to shutdowns and turnarounds cripple workplace productivity, resulting increased expenses and loss of sales. In cases where this is occurring, drastic measures must be taken immediately to help remedy the situation.

  1. Reactive maintenance becomes more prevalent

Reactive maintenance refers to unscheduled maintenance that has come about due to unforeseen machinery failure. When machinery is malfunctioning often, it either means that it’s too old and needs to be replaced, or it indicates that the equipment isn’t being properly maintained. All machinery at manufacturing plants are under constant pressure, and when they don’t undergo regular maintenance, they quickly deteriorate. Even before the machinery has had a chance to break down, it’s not able to operate at full capacity if the parts aren’t being serviced or replaced often enough.

Reactive maintenance that is performed by specialist industrial firms is more problematic than scheduled maintenance, as it occurs while the worker is performing their duties. Scheduled maintenance of machinery on the other hand, can be completed while workers are absent, so no disruptions are created.

  1. Maintenance takes longer than usual

While maintenance is time-consuming, maintenance that takes considerably longer than usual is another sign that existing processes are in need of improvement. If maintenance is prolonged or halted altogether due to a lack of essential materials, or simply a lack of necessary expertise, then there needs to be a massive overhaul. If your maintenance duties are assigned to a third-party company, who are responsible for such delays, then it’s important that a new replacement is found as soon as possible.

  1. Unqualified maintenance crews

Industrial maintenance teams can be expensive, and it’s understandable that companies will sometimes attempt to save money on mechanical engineering duties by hiring the least expensive contractor. Unfortunately, this decision may result in inferior service teams that lack the proper skills and experience to maintain all machinery throughout your facility to the highest standard. When equipment isn’t serviced correctly, it results in premature failure, more downtimes, loss of productivity and ultimately, a less successful business operation. If machinery throughout your facility is being regularly maintained but you are still finding that unanticipated breakdowns are occurring far too often, then the maintenance crew must be scrutinized.

  1. Maintenance workers frequently require additional time

When the maintenance team frequently requires more hours to complete their duties, then it’s a sign that something is wrong. It could be that they lack the necessary expertise to complete their tasks on time. Perhaps their management team doesn’t have a proper plan in place or is unwilling to motivate their staff to work at a faster rate. Perhaps the company you’ve hired has a long history of working at a substandard pace, in order to deliberately earn more money by collecting overtime pay.

Final word

These are the top 5 indicators that your maintenance processes are in need of improvement. Downtimes are enormously detrimental to businesses, and immediate efforts must be made to identify the cause. Perhaps they’re being caused by out-of-date machinery that needs to be replaced, or perhaps it’s the maintenance teams themselves that are in need of replacement. Whatever the cause, a solution must be found to prevent a business from becoming completely inoperable.

Sterling Brenner is a commercial manager at CR Asia, a leading specialist in mechanical services and mechanical engineering.

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